EWG - Looking out for the independent artist community

July 17, 2012

Artists beware, lowlife businesses or individuals coming to you with work but pushing the whole 'royalties' or 'percentage based on sales, not upfront' are only looking for one thing, ripping you off and taking advantage of amateur artists who might not know better. And just because they 'recently listed on amazon' doesn't mean they can guarantee jack crap on selling ANYTHING. If a potential hirer is not willing to pay upfront for the initial time and work on producing the art item in the first place, send them packing. The cost of production, and the post-production earnings of a given product once on the market are ALWAYS separate and unrelated. 
This following excerpt of the kind of pitch to look out for and say NO to is from some business [name removed] that I received this afternoon:

"..I saw your post on the Jobs Services section on Deviant Art and wanted to know if you would be interested in doing a project for us. We pay programmers, artists, and musicians royalties instead of upfront payment. Here are the amounts we pay based off net sales for art intense projects: Net Sales = Selling Price less 30% distribution costs allowance (i.e. Amazon, Paypal/Dataware order processing)40% of Net Sales: Programmer40% of Net Sales: Artist10% of Net Sales: Musician10% of Net Sales: DatawareBesides selling software through our site, we recently listed our software on Amazon: "
  I replied with:
"Royalties is nice, but the artist gets nothing for the initial production time?
Quite a ripoff your running there."
A few hours later I just got this (and last since I blocked them after this ) followup reply:
"Just because we do not pay upfront payment, doesn't mean it's a ripoff. A ripoff is when the artist does not get paid. We have paid every artist that has worked with us. Actually through royalties, the artist gets more than we would normally pay for upfront payment, just spread out over time. [ name removed ]
Well, to Mr [ name removed] all I had to say was (after a good laugh):
"Bunch of crooks. Hope no artist is stupid enough to work with you. The work deserves pay immediately, not just the sales you MIGHT make with the finished material later. Your offer basically has NO guarantee the person creating the product for you will ever get paid much if at all. Ridiculous. Completely ridiculous. - EWG "
I had included the name of the person/company that tried to pull this stunt but I decided, my overall objective here is to demonstrate what is NOT the right kind of person to be hired by. Crucifying the company and individual directly could just lead to idiocies ontop of idiocies so I will stick to my overall point and not point personal fingers. But avoid these types of employers. Clients that don't really want to pay for an artist at all, they want to cover their own asses and in the long run. They're going to get what they pay for with that policy. Amen.

Nuff Said. 

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